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Dee's guitar-making/modding projects blog

Testing parts placement

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The shape is still rough; there will be a deeper/rounder cut at the back and of course every edge will be trimmed nice, the body is about 1/4 too big almost everywhere right now, quite rough sawn as it is. I wanted to leave plenty of wood for sanding it down nice.

Ditched the tu-tone color scheme; took a while to get the mid section colored the same as the flanges due to different wood, but it's OK. The black parts will line up with it anyways.

Still trying to figure out how to do the fade to black at the edges.
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  1. Duffy's Avatar
    Many drum mfg's use birch as a preferred, high quality, tone wood in their regular five piece, etc., drum kits. It is surprising that guitar mfg's haven't used birch; at least to my knowledge. Birch is a beautiful wood. I grew up in Northern Minnesota and am very familiar with birch. I used to carve things out of it and it is a beautiful grained building wood. American Indians, as you likely know, made canoes entirely out of birch, using slabs of the laminated papery bark, glued together with pitch from pines. These canoes would hold several people and were used to navigate the Great Lakes of the upper Mid West, as well as many highly turbulent and dangerous rivers and streams. A birch bark top might look cool.

    Neat looking project guitar.

    Duffy
  2. deeaa's Avatar
    Thanks! I'm hoping it'll look OK when done, still :-) it may look a touch weird.

    Yeah, birch seems to be mostly used in furniture, since it's easily bendable when wet but very resilient once formed and dried and has neutral colour. Quite heavy wood as well...I'd like to use more spruce and birch in guitars, as those are plentiful here...spruce also seems pretty much reserved for acoustic tops for some reason.

    I'm surprised birch has been used in boats. I thought birch doesn't hold weather very well, and being so hard doesn't accept tar etc. especially well either. But, it's hard and resilient indeed...I'd like to know how they used to treat the boats to keep them in good condition, or how long were they used. Here it's mostly spruce for wooden boats I believe, and tarred. We have a couple of old wood boats from the 50's which are still somewhat OK to use...they are simple constructions with five planks on each side, spruce keel and reinforcements, tar-treated of course so black. They need to be sunk for a few days in the beginning of the summer so they swell a bit and hold water after that OK...more or less, as by now they're not exactly tarred or even used yearly, might be they're not usable any more.
  3. deeaa's Avatar
    BTW AFAIK Leo Fender chose the original body woods indeed to be the _least_ resonant and musical ones he could find at reasonable cost, because in the early years guitar feedback was a real concern for players. So, making a body out of even pine gets a much more resonant and ringing sound from an electric too, especially if you choose rather porous and light/well dried woods. I've made a body out of pine twice; the problem is it's very soft and it's really hard to get a nice surface by sanding etc problems...but they sounded very resonant indeed.